The Browns had everything they needed to beat the Raiders 42-34 in Oakland today, but a bizarre and inexplicable decision by the referees to overturn a late Carlos Hyde first-down run gave the Raiders the opportunity to make a dramatic comeback and win in overtime.
With 1:46 to play in the fourth and an eight-point lead, the Browns called three straight runs to Carlos Hyde as the Raiders used up all of their timeouts. On the last of those plays, Hyde appeared to convert a third-and-two for the first down, effectively ending the game and giving the Browns the win.
The play was reviewed, however, and somehow, the officials came to the conclusion that there was definitive evidence that Hyde’s elbow was down before the ball crossed the first down line. I’m not saying the conclusion they reached was obviously wrong. But with that “indisputable” burden of proof drilled into all our heads, it’s impossible to look at a replay and mark for sure whether the spot should be before or after the line, which means the original call should stand.
Pretending that NFL refs can spot the ball on the regular with any level of exactness is already pretty goofy, and this review just emphasized the delusion:
It took Derek Carr less than a minute to go 53 yards for the game-tying touchdown and two-point conversion, and after trading possessions to start overtime, the Raiders got the ball down the field and set up a chip shot game-winning field goal for Matt McCrane. They may have a win now, but the Browns can’t escape being the Browns.